We'd love to offer Esc members social media advice by talking about how we can help improve their own, or their company's presence online.
We'd also be more than happy talking ideas through with members or how to get motivated into taking the jump. One of the key things we've found is talking to others opens many doors and really does help you along-the-way.
We never believed we were great ‘networkers’ until we had something to really talk about, and now we can’t stop talking!
We are currently consultants providing social media training sessions and courses to all sizes of businesses around the UK, in the form of fun, interactive sessions called Snap, Crackle and Pop!
We also offer simple social media advice that can be done virtually or face-to-face and have developed a thorough formula to evaluate online presences too.
Alongside that we are writing simple eBooks, toolkits and also creating our first iPhone app with a colleague!
On a day-to-day basis, we simply work from each other's houses in a bid to keep overheads low. When we are not working from home we are out and about meeting new people and working in places where we feel inspired!
Before we decided to create Katie & Jane, We spent nine years between us working in PR agencies since leaving university. We met at our last agency, where we worked together for almost 3 years as a team developing creative campaigns integrating PR and social media for a host of brands.
We both share the same mind-set. Neither of us could see ourselves sitting in an office, 9 to 5 everyday for the rest of our lives and we were desperate to do something different. The idea to create a social media training partnership sprung from our frustration at seeing so much bad social media advice out there and a desire to help marketers, small businesses and high profile brands understand the basics and create some stand-out social media campaigns and communities.
Jane: My moment of truth was while on holiday by the sea in Southwold celebrating New Year. Katie emailed me saying that we had our very first (and very small!) booking and I couldn't wait to get home and do it! It made me realise that this is my life now, I can make it as big and successful as I like!
Katie: My moment of truth was the dreaded job search. After 6 years at PR agencies and working with some great brands, although I had enjoyed getting to where I was, I was tired of the constraints, the BS and feeling stifled. I was ready for a whole new change, but I wasn’t quite sure what that was until I’d mentioned the idea of ‘Katie & Jane’ to some family and friends and they were instantly supportive and excited for me, I’d spent the last few minutes selling the idea to them, I just needed to sell it to myself!
After a couple of years of sharing our thoughts and aspirations for life – even though not very clear yet, it was about six months before leaving our agency in January 2013 that we started to put our thoughts into action. It took a while for us to plan out our offering and what we'd need to do to make it happen.
There were a couple of wobbles at times for both of us but we would always be there to kick any negative thoughts out of each other.
We are planners by nature so set a goal to have all our assets in place including our website by our proposed launch date, we used weekends and week nights after work to make sure we kept on track, and we made our website live by day one.
The best thing is creating something that is entirely ours and follows our rules not someone else's or indeed, society's! We're already proud of what we've achieved with Katie & Jane and know we'll look back on our life and see we did something unique and made a difference. Waking up each day knowing that you can make your day exactly how you want it to be is great!
Having the freedom of creativity is one of our most valuable assets to our new business. We use all sorts of things to get us feeling inspired which translates into our meetings and training, sometimes even simply walking Jane’s dog Beau helps us think of new ideas, how to improve our training, what our next app would be and inspires a positive mind!
Unfortunately there will always be some downsides to following a different path to others. Negativity is something we've frequently come up against. We found that people who we thought would be supportive completely changed towards us after we told them what we were doing, and funnily enough new people we have met since launching have been so excited and willing to help us out in any way they can to support young entrepreneurs.
Having each other makes these things easy to overcome; we're a team and will take on everything together. A partner is something that, when speaking to other business owners, they've told us they wish they'd had... but don't let that stop you - get a mentor and join in with the Esc community!
We received a great piece of advice from a successful business owner; listen to advice but always act on your own instinct.
This has really helped us as we meet many people who are quick to offer advice before actually understanding what our aims for the business are. If we'd listened, we don't think Katie & Jane would have ever been created!
Also, when it came to selecting a name we kept calling the project 'Katie & Jane' and it stuck. Some people recommended us not to go with it but we like the simple title, reflecting our simple outlook. We didn't want a name that didn't mean anything to us... plus, it seems to be very easy for people to remember!
Something we wished we'd known before taking the plunge is that thinking about doing something is often scarier than actually doing it. Our motto is 'What's the worst that can happen!?' If we'll survive, it's more than likely that we'll try it!
We both recommended books to each other while still in full-time employment and then we'd rush to download them so we could talk about them the next day! Our must-reads are The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris, The $100 Startup and A Brief Guide to World Domination by Chris Guillebeau and More to Life than Shoes by Nadia Finer and Emily Nash. It's also great to read these author's blogs to get some great inspirations and tips.
We're not just saying this but Escape the City is so motivational. We love the regular email updates that, if you're not having a great day, really pick you up. The Escape the City team have been so supportive as have other Esc members, it's really excellent to have a community of people in the same boat as you (or at least hoping to get onboard!)
While researching for our app development, App Empire by Chad Mureta gave us some great gems of advice so if you're looking into creating an app, we'd definitely recommend you read that.